Thursday, July 7, 2011

Blogging Harry Potter: Harry Potter vs Jane Eyre (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part One)

I finally watched the penultimate chapter in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part One, (directed by David Yates).  It was a Harry Potter movie: there is some inept, magical bumbling, some righteous indignation, and the growing presence of evil.

The night before watching Deathly Hallows, I watched Jane Eyre (Robert Stevenson, 1943), with Orson Wells and Joan Fontaine.  Harry has a few, superficial similarities to the plucky, gothic heroine: they both were orphans, brought up by cruel relatives, including an overweight, obnoxious cousin, and  both were forced to live under the stairs.

Jane Eyre and Harry Potter were also had submissive relationships; Jane had Rochester in what was a very strange relationship: The more he abused and humiliated her, the stronger her love for him grew.  Much the same with Harry and Professor Snape.  Alright, that last one was a stretch, but  all poor Alan Rickman (about $11 million poor) did in this film was walk dramatically, with his giant cape flowing behind him so I felt he needed a mention.

Not surprisingly, in Harry's darkest moments, when Ron deserts him and Hermiogne, he tries to bird dog Ron's girl.  This reveals a remarkable lack of character in the seriously flawed hero that Harry would be.  Harry Potter has always been just a boy, dependant on the people around him to protect him, shelter him and make his decisions for him.  He may have extreme powers, but he lacks the knowledge of them until he gets into a bad position.  Even magical screw-up Ron does more than Harry just by leaving the group when the going gets too rough for him.  All Harry does is whine, complain and so on.  At least Jane enjoyed her submission.

So far, in his story, Harry has been proven that it is better to be lucky instead of good; and at the end of Deathly Hallows, part One, that luck seems to have turned against him.

(aargh!  Too much work and not enough sleep;  I made a huge error when I published this yesterday, falsely naming Jane Eyre's beau Heathcliff.  Heathcliff,  of course is from Wuthering Heights, which I also watched prior to writing this post.)

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